LAS VEGAS — Portable HVAC units are often thought of as solutions in emergency situations where heating and/or cooling is needed. However, spot heating and cooling can also help improve occupant comfort in indoor environments. Many of these stand-alone units were on display at the 2017 AHR Expo in Las Vegas.
Portable heating and cooling units, much like the rest of the HVAC industry, are aiming to become as efficient as possible.
“The current trend is to create more environmentally conscientious efficient units in terms of energy efficiency, water efficiency, and carbon footprint,” said Stephani Bisignano, national sales manager, Cool-Space.
Those elements can be seen in Cool-Space’s new Blizzard50, which was on display at the AHR Expo. The 50-inch-long product features a variable-speed motor and edge-coated, 8-inch-thick cooling media for durability and performance; a built-in 64-gallon water reservoir for extended use; and a 110-V power supply. The Blizzard50 also reduces air temperature by as much as 33°F and provides cooling coverage for areas up to 6,000 square feet.
“It has a variable-speed motor so it’s not just a standard one-, two-, or three-speed fan,” said Bisignano. “It gives a lot of flexibility in the amount of air you’re moving. At 50 inches in size, it offers a large square footage of cooling capacity. In the past, you may have needed two units at either end working to cool 6,000 square feet. Now, one unit can easily cool that space.
“Our pads are produced by GREENGUARD, which inhibits bacteria growth and prevents the release of VOCs [volatile organic compounds] into the air,” she continued. “And the 110-V power source is an extremely low draw on electricity that uses very little energy. The water used as the cooling vehicle for the unit is rotated through and recycled into the reservoir, so it consumes very little water for the amount of cooling.”
According to Thomas Morrison, director of marketing at Portacool LLC, portable units are capitalizing on a desire for safer environments.
“As you know, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that last year was the second hottest on record,” Morrison said. “Based on safety trends, OSHA [U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration] worker heat-safety prevention requirements, and a worker’s expected level of comfort, we are finding more and more contractors and facility managers are looking for portable, energy-efficient solutions to keep workers cool and comfortable where fixed HVAC solutions are not practical. By offering a perfectly sized product for a range of applications, we are able to help managers, owners, and workers ward off heat stresses and keep productivity up as well as prevent injuries, absences, and turnover.”
The new Portacool Jetstream™ Series of evaporative coolers features revitalized designs that generate significant airflow and provide superior cooling options for a variety of work environments. The product comes in four sizes and boasts cooling areas ranging 1,125-5,625 square feet, allowing customers to select the unit that best accommodates their cooling needs.
“Our products allow for comfortable working conditions in areas that traditionally have been miserably hot,” Morrison said. “They pair well with the trends we see on worker safety and the focus on higher production yields from the same resources. Recognizing that one size does not fit all, our engineering team devoted its efforts to developing powerful cooling options of varying size profiles and velocities to meet a wide range of needs. Over the past year, we’ve launched five new products to provide versatile solutions for work spaces as small as 500 square feet and as large as 6,000 square feet. Additionally, these coolers include KUUL Comfort™ evaporative media, which is engineered to provide highly efficient cooling.”
Another factor driving the portable HVAC market is the growth of the rental industry, noted John Vrzalik, business development manager, Koldwave Inc.
“We’ve expanded our product line, adding probably three times as many products as we’ve had in the past,” Vrzalik said. “We’ve expanded in the commercial industrial markets, so we now have commercial/industrial cooling-only units, heat pumps, heating/cooling units, dehumidification units, and electric heating units.”
The new line includes Horizontal Portable Units available in 3-, 5-, 12-, 20-, 25-, and 30-ton cooling capacities and up to 60-kW electric heat; HKW-TR Trailer Mounted Portable Units are available in 20-, 25-, and 30-ton cooling capacities and up to 60-kW electric heat; KWHH Horizontal Portable Electric Heating Units are available in 15-, 30-, 45-, 60-, and 150-kW models; and KWV Vertical Portable Cooling and Heating/Cool Units are available in 5-, 10-, and 20-ton cooling capacities with up to 45-kW electric heating capacity.
“We see the expansion in the rental industry, and we felt in order to really participate in that market, we would have to expand the line to include these other products,” Vrzalik said.
Publication date: 2/27/2017